Moving to another country – even to another city, for that matter, or just looking for those beachfront homes for sale in Spain – can be a daunting prospect. Most adults, unless you are the nomadic type who comfortably drifts from place to place, have a complex web of commitments to navigate before they can uproot and set off to new horizons. It can take an overwhelming amount of planning and unless you’re completely financially secure, there can certainly be risks involved. No wonder then that when people are buying houses in Marbella, so many allow their fantasies of a lifestyle enriched by the golden beaches and idyllic villas on the Costa Del Sol to remain just that – pipe dreams. There are no guarantees, as to how your life will turn out of course. But there is no smoke without fire, and the destination has a great reputation for good reason!
Regardless, you should research the potential areas thoroughly. It’s easy to be swept away with imaginings about what kind of life will materialize if you’re basing it on a fun holiday you had a few years ago, or the pictures of a stunning landscape or holiday home you saw in a brochure. By all means, let your imagination run wild – that is creative power and will be instrumental in shaping the life you’re looking for – but it is important to be realistic and manage expectations. There are more considerations than just what style of property to go for, where you’ll buy your furniture and whether there is a local swimming pool. Those are the easy bits!
For example, it would be sensible to find out if the local area offers enough to keep you satisfied over an extended period. If you’re thinking about buying a property, you have a lot more to think about than if you were taking your chances on a six-month rental period or a holiday home. The chances are that you will be planning for at least two years in your new home. For those that maintain a busy job and don’t have much spare time to fill, you may have a few core requirements such as being close to the beach and some choice local restaurants, with good transport links. The same goes if you have a lot of free time but are content living a very simplistic lifestyle. However, if you are the kind of person whose lifestyle falls somewhere in the middle, two years can present many days to fill.
‘Me time’ needs free time
If you are giving up a boring or stressful lifestyle in your home city or country, then the kind of face-value changes that the Costa Del Sol can offer you may be all it takes. If so, great! Pick up the phone and start arranging your viewings – you’re all set. If you have appreciated many things about your current lifestyle, then it makes sense that you’d want to replicate or substitute a few of those. Your hobbies are important; it’s easy to neglect them in favour of your never-ending to do list but generally that is a mistake. Me-time is what adds the most substance to your life and those times are the ones that make for the best memories. If your hobbies are yoga, or golf, for example, then take into consideration the distance you might have to travel to the nearest one. If you are a golf fanatic, it might be wiser to locate yourself somewhere like Benahavis, Marbella, for example. If you feel happiest when you are relaxing by the water, or shopping, perhaps Puerto Banús marina would be your ideal location, with it’s stunning scenery, stylish boutiques and inviting bars and restaurants.
Don’t believe the hype – find out for yourself! Depending on where you’re sourcing your information, naturally those with a vested interest will talk a good game. The plus points of Costa Del Sol’s multitude of locations are obvious but as is the case anywhere, the devil is in the details. Check out some ex-pat forums – talk to people similar to yourself, with similar needs and goals. Find out where the quietest cafes or co-working spaces are if you work from home and know you’ll need a regular change of scenery. Believe it or not, you may not be immune from ‘Cabin fever’ even in the most wonderful of homes! Talk to locals. Ask them what they love the most about the area you’re interested in, and what they find challenging. There is nowhere in the world that is free from challenges, even if it’s something as simple as a language barrier. If you’re so inclined, it isn’t difficult to find out what options you have locally for learning Spanish, and you might even make some friends in the process.
Leap and the net will appear
Another major challenge for adults who have established a comfortable life in a familiar country, is the prospect of letting go of close friendships, favourite places and conveniences. We can become very set in our ways as we age, and the ease with which we reach out to others for friendship in our youth can deteriorate when we haven’t made an effort to do so for some time. It pays to remember that there will always be people in the same position as you, looking to connect with likeminded people facing the same hurdles and interested in similar things. There are meet-up groups online as well as the ex-pat forums, and Costa Del Sol is home to many friendly, approachable people, locals and foreigners alike! Many have taken the leap long before you and are more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge of the area.
It can be very exciting to sample the local delights and develop new interests and favourite things. You may not even be traveling far but there can be big differences in both the land and the culture – what a great opportunity to treat life like a holiday, for a while at least! With the right attitude and a bit of perseverance, perhaps life really would become a holiday; a goal no doubt aspired to by a large percentage of people. Andalusia is definitely a good place to start, with its myriad sensory delights and stunning scenery. The Sierra Blanca mountains and the many beautiful beaches, the yacht filled marinas and upmarket bars, restaurants and nightclubs are an essential part of life for many! If that isn’t your thing, there are countless picturesque coastal towns and villages a little further away that would surely provide an adequate setting for the relaxation and reverie you’re seeking.